Look Out For Tendinitis

The shoulder plays an integral part in arm movement. The signs are obvious when there is a shoulder injury, particularly the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons and muscles covering the shoulder joint. These tendons and muscles help to rotate the arm and protect the joint. Shoulder injuries are common with rotator cuff tendinitis, particularly troublesome. Identifying the symptoms and taking action are critical for a healthy shoulder.

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What is rotator cuff tendinitis?

Rotator cuff tendinitis is also known as bursitis or shoulder impingement. This mild to severe condition happens from inflammation of the muscles or tendons. This is also accompanied by inflammation of the bursa, fluid-filled sacs that help with lubrication. Rotator cuff tendinitis is often a repetitive stress injury. Repeated motions like lifting, throwing, swimming, or climbing, especially in sports, can cause damage. The symptoms may be mild at first, but these 3 are the most common.

1. Constant pain and discomfort

Pain the most common symptom of rotator cuff tendinitis. The pain is often localized to the front of the shoulder. Some patients will have occasional pain after using the shoulder, while others will feel consistent pain. Over time, some patients experience mild swelling and discomfort. This swelling will even reduce the range of motion.

2. A clicking sound

Some people will recognize a clicking sound when raising the shoulder with rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition is called crepitus. Crepitus is a grinding, clicking, or popping sound when the swollen tendons move over the bone. The condition is also a sign of degenerating cartilage. Crepitus is not always painful but could be a sign of tendinitis.

3. Poor sleep quality

Most people tend to sleep on the side or the stomach. These positions will place pressure on the shoulders at night. With tendinitis, the shoulder can become so painful that sleep quality declines. Some patients wake up with pain in the middle of the night, while others struggle to stay asleep.

The right treatment matters

Most cases of rotator cuff tendinitis are mild but can turn into rotator cuff tears if left untreated. These symptoms respond well to non-surgical methods. Resting the shoulder and applying ice and compression therapy can help, especially before bed. If the pain is unbearable, try over-the-counter pain medication. Finally, if the pain persists, see a doctor immediately. The doctor can recommend physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery.

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